It was stated (May/June 2002) to David Ward by Carol McGlasson in America that she has a great grandfather, James DREW who was the son of James Edmund Drew - b.1825 in Radnor. So, who was the James Drew who married Sarah Nias? This news precipitated a series of researches - now resolving in a general agreement that the lines are linked by cousins of the same name and same birth year - both lines descended from John Drew and Keziah Beaumont.
James Edmund Drew (sometimes spelt Edmond), was baptised at the church in Cefnllys in April 1825. His father's occupation was "gentleman", and his abode then was Trawsdir, Cefnllys. His parents were Thomas Drew and Margaret Sheen, of Nantdu, Cefnllys, who were married in 1817, at Glascwm, in Radnorshire.
He married Jane Probert - who was not yet 16 - on the 24th August 1850 in the Parish Church of Llandegley, 'according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England'. On the marriage certificate his age was listed as "of full age". He was a bachelor and his occupation was farmer. His residence at the time of marriage was Nanty [Nantdu] in the Parish of Cefallys [Cefynllys]. His father's occupation was farmer.
James Edmund Drew, Jane and their son, James Drew, migrated to America in 1854 (the year his father, Thomas Drew, died) when James was only three years old. They settled first at Alton, Illinois, later moving to a farm near Brighton, in Madison County. There was one other son born to the marriage - John Drew - but he died as an infant in August 1854 at Brighton, Illinois. Jane (Probert) Drew died a short time after, in March 1855.
In April 1856, James Edmund Drew married Eliza Betty Challacombe. She had been born in England in 1829. Her parents were Thomas and Jane Challacombe who were also born in England. This latter information comes from the Rootsweb.com website where it shows her birth year as 1828, but on her headstone in Irving it shows the year 1829.
When James (Probert) Drew was twelve years old the family moved to a farm east of Irving, Illinois. They kept a family bible - and this has assisted Carol McGlasson in piecing together many of the elements of this family history. Carol writes, "I do have a copy of a Naturalization paper for James Edmund. He became a citizen of the United States in 10-15-1866." She states that there were eight children born of the second marriage.
Carol confirms that there were no spouses listed for Edmund, William, and Jeannette ... "so they probably never married. Most of James Edmund's children died pretty young, except for James Drew (mother Jane Probert) and Belle (Arabelle Walker Drew) Neisler."
James Edmund Drew died on March 15th, 1893 and was buried beside Jane Probert in the Irving Cemetery. Eliza Betty (Drew) Challacombe died 1-12-1915. In 1877, James (Probert) Drew had married Mary Frances File (b. 1855) and they had four sons - Robert Drew, Jesse Drew, Frank Drew and George Drew (who was Carol 's grandfather) and one daughter, Susan Drew.
James remained on the farm until he retired at which time he and his wife, Mary, moved to the small town of Irving itself. The above picture shows James (Probert) Drew at work in the orchard of the farm. James died on September 15th, 1939 and Mary, his wife, on July 4th, 1950.